Vaccines, Not Lockdowns, Underpin Cambodia’s Fight Against COVID-19

Curfew lifted in Phnom Penh but case numbers remain high.

Rowdy scenes erupted in Phnom Penh’s few surviving bars, which managed to reopen over the weekend after a six-week curfew was lifted. Too many wanted to believe the pandemic was over and the police responded to the reality, conducting raids across the capital.

The scenes were not dissimilar to elsewhere – the United States, Australia, Europe – where the irrational exuberance of crowds suddenly released from lockdown has no bounds and lacked any sense of social distancing and face masks amid a resumption of alcohol sales.

But Cambodia faces problems which the wealthier countries in the West do not, particularly overcrowding in Phnom Penh, where several people often rent one room, in some cases one bed, to find a few hours’ sleep from the grind outside.

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